Leaders have called for a Heroes Bill to be formed to cater for and recognize Kenya’s heroes for the exploits they have done. Speaking at the late Joe Kadenge’s requiem service at the Friends International Church along Ngong Road in Nairobi, Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula urged MPs to move forward with the Heroes Bill, which he said may be initiated in the Senate, “Our heroes, we seem to praise them in death than in life…we hope Aladwa and others will be able to push through that legislation that will clearly define many issues including provision of housing,” he said, adding that national heroes can also be given free houses under the affordable housing programme.
His comment was supported by ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi, who said that Bill must be brought into place. He said a Hall of Fame also needs to be set up so that other heroes other than just the late Kadenge can be honoured, including sportsmen, academics, artists and others. Mudavadi revealed that he was a treasurer of the now defunct Volcano football team, which was put together by the late Kadenge, and it was the first professional team in Kenya.
The team ensured the players earned structured salaries and he said other teams should follow suit and make football a profession, “Unless we create the law and environment that will professionalize football, the way we have professional clubs in other parts, we are not going to do justice to our players, now and in future,” he said, adding that Volcano produced five national players in a penultimate match between Kenya and Algeria.
Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga confirmed that City Stadium in Nairobi will be renamed after Joe Kadenge. Raila said the stadium will be purely a football stadium and will have the late Kadenge’s statue at the entrance. He narrated how he helped to put together Kadenge’s memoir, ‘Joe Kadenge: The life of a football legend’. “This book has the history of Kenyan soccer….” he said.
Other leaders who were present at the service were Vihiga Senator George Khaniri, Makadara MP George Aladwa, Nairobi woman rep Esther Passaris, Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa among others. On Tuesday, a fundraiser was held for the funeral and at least Kshs 4.5 million was raised. Kadenge’s body will be airlifted to Bukhungu Stadium, Kakamega on Thursday and later taken to Hamisi in Vihiga County, where the Saturday burial will take place.